Herbs For Health: Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)

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Herbs For Health: Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons

When you think of Nettle you do doubt think of the painful sting you get when you touch it’s leaves. Ouch!

Nettles sting rash

320px-Nettle_Sting

Nettle grows wild throughout the United States and Canada. It grows well even if you are trying to get rid of it. If you are going to grow this plant, make sure it is in a safe place – that is safe for you. You don’t want to accidentally brush up against it. Give it room to spread without letting it encroach on your space.

Wear gloves when you work with this plant and you will be fine. The process you put it through when you are making medicine – heating, drying or mashing the leaves – negates this nasty sting.

You can steam the leaves of this plant, picking the nettle tops while still young, and then eat them in your salad. You can also include the leaves in soups, stir-fry and casseroles.

Nettles are actually very good for you, medicine or not. Nettle contains potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, protein, beta-carotene, and Vitamin K. Yes. It is good for you.

Some interesting facts about Nettle

The ancient Greek and Romans grew more nettle than any other crop. Why? It was used as both food and medicine. It was also used in making clothing. You read that correctly. Clothes. This kind of clothing was considered to be finer than cotton or linen.

Another interesting fact is that the nettle sting can be used in the treatment of arthritis pain. It is the actual stinging of nettle directly on the joints that is the treatment. Personally I could never handle this, but they say it is very effective without having the side effects that drugs have.

Here are some helpful videos

Harvesting…

This brief informative video comes from The Healthy Haven.

Enjoy this video from EatTheWeeds that covers identification, harvesting, cautions and health benefits. Not the same variety, but stinging nettles just the same.

Growing nettles for profit…

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Comments (7)

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  1. Susan Ccoper says:

    Nettles are an interesting plant. They have many properties many are not aware of. A funny story about nettles was when my brother’s kids lived in England and were playing in a field they unknowingly ran into a patch of nettles. It was a memorable experience.

  2. JeriWB says:

    I would be interested in seeing the cloth that can be made from the plants. As for the topical application for arthritis pain, no thanks 😉

  3. Interesting, Cheryl. I don't know if stinging nettles grow in my neck of the woods. (I've never encountered any.) But it sounds as though the stingers are actually like acupuncture needles, which some folks have found to help against arthritis and joint pain. I think I'll stick to my collagen tablets!

  4. Dan Meyers says:

    Wow, I've never heard of this one before… I'm with Jeri on this one, I don't think the rash would be worth the relief!

  5. Nettle soup is delicious. Have heard that Nettles are good against cystitis,but I have never tried.

  6. I once saw some people collecting nettles in the park. They told me that they were going to use it to make tea. searched, without much luck, for information on collecting and using them. Thank you so much for this post … now I know what to do and will, hopefully, be out this spring to collect. So glad that you linked up at Meet & Greet … you have a wonderful site with great content!

    • Geek Girl says:

      Welcome! I also visited your site and love it! Isn't it interesting how something as simple as a Meet & Greet can bring people together.